LSMS 5700: Technology and the Museum
The world of the museum is constantly evolving, and museums are increasingly using technology to engage with their guests. From QR codes to online presences, museum practitioners are tasked with finding new ways to interact. More and more, institutions are doing this by flocking to Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites to spread their influence and increase their social visibility. But what other complications can arise from implementing technologies? How does a museum go beyond simply tweeting their press releases or installing displays, and move toward active engagement with key audiences?
These are questions that students must ask themselves in Technology and the Museum. This class is cool because it asks students to ponder relevant questions and apply technology they use every day to their work in a museum. In this class, asking questions like “Is there an app for that?” isn’t just acceptable – it’s encouraged!
Throughout the course, students examine ways and resources to connect with museum audiences through current technological trends, how to reach the 21st century crowd and how to enhance their own productivity. The coursework takes students from awareness of these resources to potential implementation, and helps them create their very own technological plan. Students also have the opportunity to communicate with their peers using the same technology they study; a blog and Twitter feed is integrated into the coursework, providing the opportunity for even more hands-on experience.
This class also examines many serious implications of these technological advances. Students are asked to consider important questions like, “How much technology is too much?” and “How can I strike a balance between technology and the content?” They evaluate the technological needs of their institutions and identify strategies to advance their respective technological capabilities. Through various applications and exercises, students in this class examine the many ways that museums can be on the cutting edge of emerging trends in technology – even as traditionally conventional institutions.
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